6 Valentine's Day dinners to reserve now

Get planning for Valentine's Day with romantic feasts at these Chicago restaurants

January 24, 2012|By Erin Gibbons | For RedEye

Reservations are filling up fast for Feb. 14 (Warning: It’s a Tuesday) and the weekend before, so now’s the time to snag a table at one of these red-hot restaurants, many of which are celebrating their very first Valentine’s Day. It would be heartbreaking to end up at the sushi bar at Walgreens.

Osteria de Pizza Metro
2863 N. Clark St. 773-472-6411
If your idea of romance includes candlelit tables, walls lined with Italian memorabilia and your own bottle of vino, then you and this Lincoln Park BYOB spot are a match made in heaven.
On the table: Instead of the usual Roman-style square pizza, expect a prix-fixe menu with options that include crostini di prosciutto, homemade gnocchi alla rustica, and panna cotta for dessert. The regular menu is available for delivery or pickup.
Price: $39.99 per couple; no corkage fee
Reservations available: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Feb. 14

Roka Akor Steak & Sushi
456 N. Clark St. 312-477-7652
Share the love at this River North Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar, which will offer an intimate five-course couple’s sharing menu in addition to its regular menu. Two signature cocktails are also being mixed up Feb. 10-19.
On the table: Oysters with rose ponzu, yuzu-and-miso-marinated black cod with pickled red onions, prime beef filet with chili-ginger sauce, and triple chocolate cake.
Price: $188 per couple (includes one glass of sparkling wine per person)
Reservations available: 5-11 p.m. Feb. 14

951 W. Fulton Market 855-834-6464
Homaro Cantu and his team of mad-scientist chefs are pulling out all the stops with this special 10-course menu, inspired by broad concepts of Valentine’s Day, past and present.
On the table: Think themed courses ranging from classic (Chicago steakhouse) to inventive … and slightly unsettling (St. Valentine’s Day massacre). One sure thing: Cantu’s favorite flavor-tripping miracle berries will be involved.
Price: $150 per person (includes beer, wine, cocktail pairings)
Reservation available: 5-10 p.m. Feb. 14

Trenchermen Pop-Up at Logan Square Kitchen, 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Can’t wait until spring? Get a sneak preview of anticipated Wicker Park restaurant Trenchermen from sibling chefs Michael and Patrick Sheerin, who are hosting this pop-up event at Logan Square Kitchen Valentine’s Day weekend.
On the table: The five-course tasting menu includes scallops with oyster avgolemono (an egg-lemon sauce) and bamboo rice, aged duck breast with cornbread and yuzu apple sauce and a dessert of coffee cake, fried chocolate and tofu chai ice cream.
Price: $120 per person (includes beer, wine and cocktail pairings, as well as tax and gratuity)
Reservations available: 7:30 p.m. seating Feb. 12; 5:30 and 8 p.m. seatings Feb. 13; 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. seatings Feb. 14. Tickets online: brownpapertickets.com/event/222679

1846 W. Division St. 312-878-1212
This eco-centric Wicker Park restaurant (the name means “green” in Greek) is planning a his-and-hers dinner for the big day; the Saturday before, many of the specials will be offered à la carte in addition to the regular menu. Specialty cocktails will be featured both days.
On the table: Beet carpaccio with goat cheese, arugula, balsamic vinegar and pistachio; braised beef cheek with a cabernet-foie-gras emulsion; and Irish whiskey cake for dessert.
Price: $12-$25 for specials on Saturday; $30 or $45 per person for the three- or four-course menu, respectively. Add wine pairings for $20-$35.
Reservations available: 5-11 p.m. Feb. 11; three-course first seating 5-7 p.m. and four-course second seating 8-10 p.m. Feb. 14

1639 S. Wabash Ave. 312-360-9500
Score points by splurging for dinner at this polished South Loop spot, where executive chef Ryan McCaskey will serve his regular menu as well as a special four-course dinner channeling his signature contemporary-classic style.
On the table: Coconut-curry lobster velouté; wagyu short rib with celeriac, truffle and marshmallow; and cardamom spice cake with carrot sorbet and white-chocolate cream cheese for dessert.
Price: $85 per person; add wine pairings for $50.
Reservations available: 5-10 p.m. Feb. 14

Erin Gibbons is a RedEye special contributor.

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